Friday, 22 January 2010

Food and Restaurant: Café Rendezvous

Mezzanine Level, InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong,
70 Mody Road,
Tsim Sha Tsui

Parma Ham
Irish Oysters (A bit small)
Mini lobsters, Japanese spider crab and conch
Roasted Beef
Instant Cook Penne (This month only)
Scallops and Salmon
Desserts (look good)
Sour Strawberry in Sweet White Chocolate (Yum!)

  • Photos by me, dating back to 2009-9-18


Located in a not-so-accessible area of East Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) -- including a 10-min walk from the East TST MTR station or a 20-min walk from the TST station, inside a hotel with a not-so-grand exterior having a sea view blocked 70% by a footbridge, offering dinner buffet at weekends from $388+ might sound a little too crazy, but Café Rendezvous /ˈkæf.eɪ ˈrɒn.deɪ.vuː/
remains on the top of my list for buffet for the past 4 years for some really good reasons.

Excellent Quality for Seafood lovers (or not)
Quality is my top priority. I can eat junk food or swallow an entire fast food meal in 5 minutes for my weekday meals (which I usually do), but at weekends I must use those money I saved up in 5 days to eat something good! So I want quality, quality, quality food!

The dinner buffet offers Irish oysters all year round. They are freshly opened by experienced chefs and are washed right in front of you when you place your order, so you need not be afraid of eating contaminated shellfish because the person queuing before you were spitting saliva onto them while talking to his friend (yucks!)

Since oysters are seasonal, the size of the shellfish also fluctuates. That doesn't cause any troubles nonethless, as you can order as much as you like. I often ask for a dozen each time and the chefs never seem to mind at all! They even reply to you with a cheerful "Sure!" I am not an oyster lover and I hardly eat more than one in 6 months, but consume a dozen in a year, and now you know where I eat.

I have never really liked crabs. Hairy crabs, flower crabs, crabby crab crab, whatever. But I just can't help but keep eating the Japanese Spider Crabs here. Not only are they fresh, they are juicy and most often you can taste a tint of sea water. The crab meat is always firm which means the boiling is well-timed every time. I like it with the Thai chilli-lime sauce as it brings out the best taste of the arthropod.

Other seafood consists of baby lobsters and conches, and salmons, scallops, octopuses, sea urchins over at the sushi bar. They all taste way above my expectations! Food refill happens way before the food runs out, so there is no time-lag in between your servings.

Tender Meatloaf
They also offer roasted lamb legs and roasted beef, and they are both my favourite food, but it really depends on which depth of the meat they are cutting. Of course, the further in, the more tender texture, the more succulent they taste. I have never tried asking them to cut me the middle slice, maybe I should try next time.

Variety of Cooked Dishes
Chinese dishes such as fried rice, steamed fish, stir-fried vegetables, cooked lamb, pork, chicken, beef, plain rice, pan-fried udon and Chinese soup are not my choice in a western-style buffet, but just in case you have friends who doesn't eat seafood and dislike raw Japanese food, then you do get the familiar taste of orient and they are not bad.

Other than the roasted, the Western style dishes also consist of smoked salmon and ham, cheese with biscuits, butter with buns and borscht /bɔːʃt/.

Because every month, the cafe comes with a theme for its buffet, thus occasionally, you do get Italian parma ham and cook-on-request pastas and pizza, or Indian curry mutton and kerbab, I suggest you phone the cafe and ask them before you make reservation.

Cozy Environment
Diners here are not noisy at all, so you tune the atmosphere on your table to family-gathering, friends' reunion or romantic-candlelight style. Their staff will also arrange the best table for you for the purpose, so you may also let them know why you are going to dine there.

Sweet Watermelons
Sugar-soaked? Probably not, because I have never had a complaint from my better half, who is very sharp when it comes to tasting food. She loves Malaysian watermelons best, but the unknown ones here still receive some praises, and so I believe the watermelons are pretty good.

Desserts for Kids
Well, I say the desserts are for kids because they will surely be happy to have chocolate fondue fountain with fresh fruits such as strawberries, honeydew and cantaloupe. They can design their own Ice cream with almond flakes or melon seeds.

As for the rest of the desserts, cheese cakes and tiramisu mostly look really good, moose and cream in mini-glasses just don't fit the feeling on my tongue, so... I belong to the kids' category.

Coupons and Discounts
Ever since launched the English version, I find it much easier for me to search for what I want, including the coupons. However, I usually book a table for 2, so these 4 - 20 heads coupons don't do much good for me (which is sad because they offer 25% off for these coupons). Fortunately, HSBC credit card does provide a 20% off and that helped to save some. So assuming if you go at the weekends and you use HSBC credit card, each person pays about $350. I have to say it is not cheap, but with the kind of food and consistent food quality and services, you won't regret it if you go once in a while.

To add to my review here, I quoted what I wrote about this restaurant last year as follows:

This is the 6th or 7th time I have buffet here, and every time I go home a very happy guy!mad

It is not just the environment that was brilliant, the food -- the succulent, meaty Japanese spider crab, tender roasted beef, creamy Irish oysters , and this month, the theme is Italian cuisine. Today, there was Parma ham with honey dew. Still mouthwatering after a 120% full meal.tongue

The best of all is, the savoury food got my girlfriend back from a very bad mood sadto a great one!lol It is her birthday today, so it was very important that she enjoyed

Really must thank the fine food!smilesmilesmile

PS: Some of the Japanese spider crabs were a bit too salty. Manager should check. sad
Recommended Dish(es): Japanese spider crab, roasted beef, Irish oysters
Date of Visit: 2009-09-18
Spending per head: Approximately HKD350(Dinner)
Other Ratings:
Taste 5 | Environment 5 | Service 5 | Hygiene 5 | Value for Money 4


Mezzanine -- a small extra floor between one floor of a building and the next floor up
Well-timed -- happening or caused to happen at a suitable or effective time
borscht -- a type of soup made from beetroot (= a small dark red vegetable)
cook-on-request -- (of a food) which is cooked to you immediately when you place order
mutton -- the meat from an adult sheep eaten as food